Pluck mare Life on the Wire has returned to the mainland to race first-up at Caulfield on Saturday.
The consistent chestnut has been allocated 59kg, less Lachie King’s 3kg claim, in the $100,000 Ladbrokes Odds Boost Exotics Hcp (1200m). She earned top-weight after a superb summer prep in Tasmania and Melbourne.
Bookmakers have installed her on the second line of pre-post markets behind Godolphin’s odds-on favourite Rillito.
Life on the Wire (4m Pluck – Our Seventh Heaven by Vettori) completed a picket-fence in the Vamos Stakes Gr.3 in February before signing off a summer prep with a fifth in the Sunline Stakes Gr.2 at Moonee Valley. She has earned $260,000 from an exceptional strike-rate of 7 wins in 14 starts.
Trainer Scott Brunton gave her a pipe-opener a fortnight ago when she ran a good field off their legs at Elwick. With Siggy Carr aboard, she scored by four lengths from Tshahitsi who transferred to Tassie after winning a Stakes race at Caulfield earlier this year.
“I just needed her to trial over the 800 metres to clean her up before she headed to Melbourne,” Brinton said. “I wanted her to have a solid hit-out and that’s what she got.”
Brunton was considering a start in Saturday’s Sir John Monash Stakes Gr.3 at Caulfield. “There are some really smart gallopers in the Monash but we’re also up against Rillito in the mares race. I’m wary of her. I don’t know what she beat last time but she made them look second rate.”
Pluck sired last weekend’s South Grafton Cup winner Cogliere and he can also figure in Races 6 and 8 at Morphettville this Saturday. Caulfield trainer Nick Ryan has sent Removal to Adelaide after he struck a Heavy 9 at Randwick last month.
And Tony McEvoy is giving Aspect another chance after a mysterious loss last time out. He was a free-wheeling winner at Morphettville on June 9 but dropped right out of contention a fortnight later. Course vets could find nothing amiss when he cooled down and bookmakers are keeping him safe at $8.
Tarka was an impressive Warwick Farm winner on Wednesday and trainer David Payne hopes to keep the momentum going with another All Too Hard 2yo at Randwick on Saturday.
The Payne-prepared Rock Zone will be racing for the third time this prep in the Australian Turf Club Hcp. “He’s a horse that may not get up to staying distances,” Payne predicted this week. “So Saturday’s race over 1400m will suit him.”
Rock Zone (2g All Too Hard – Rock Me Baby by Rock Of Gibraltar) was a $120,000 graduate out of the Vinery consignment to the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions. He is owned by a syndicate that includes Kerr Neilson and Ken Hyman who race under the banner of Neasham Hayes.
Payne trained Rock Me Baby for Neasham Hayes and she won the 2009 Light Fingers Stakes Gr.2 at Randwick before retiring to stud. She has a weanling colt by All Too Hard and is due to foal to him again in August.
All Too Hard is building an incredible winning strike-rate with just two crops of racing age. Tarka was his 12th 2yo winner this season and he’s a mile ahead on the second-season table (69 winners – 105 wins) from Pierro (59 – 84) and Your Song (48 – 68).
What’s more, he’s mixing it with the Hunter Valley heavyweights on the 3YO winners premiership for 2017-18. Snitzel (73) has the lead over All Too Hard (57) and the Vinery young gun is doing a tremendous job maintaining a margin over Fastnet Rock (56), I Am Invincible (55) and Sebring (54).
Another horse to keep an eye on is Mulberry Walk (3m More Than Ready – Lovely Jubly by Lion Hunter), racing on Sunday at Hawkesbury in Race 1 over 1000m. The Peter & Paul Snowden filly is a half sister to recently returned Chautauqua.
2018 VINERY STALLION ROSTER
MORE THAN READY: $66,000
ALL TOO HARD: $33,000
STAR TURN: $22,000
PRESS STATEMENT: $16,500
CASINO PRINCE: $9,900